PEPPER'S JOURNAL

A KITTEN'S FIRST YEAR

PLB 0-06-027619-3 paper 0-06-446723-6 This entry in the MathStart series investigates the concepts of calendar time through the events of a kitten’s first year. Lisa’s agreeable, first-person journal keeps track of important dates—the birth of the litter at Grandma’s, Lisa and younger brother Joey’s first visit to the week-old kittens, permission to keep a newborn kitten when it is ready to leave its mother, selecting and naming a kitten at when it is one-month-old, taking Pepper home at two months, and so on to Pepper’s first birthday. These milestones appear in attractively busy spreads that show the progression of Lisa’s family life on the left and Lisa’s journal of Pepper’s progress on the right. Many scenes will provoke smiles: Thanksgiving in November finds Pepper under the family’s table, tugging at an eight-month-old cousin’s blanket, while Lisa’s journal drawings show her reading Pepper his favorite book, Puss in Boots, as he rests on her quilt. The recurring monthly calendar highlights important dates; in this well-done book, readers also learn harder facts about what a growing cat needs and does—integral, everyday, and useful information presented in a way that reinforces notions about the passing of time as well as the functions of a calendar. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-027618-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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THE COLORS OF US

This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS EXPLORES THE SENSES

The way-off-road vehicle (The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field, 1997, etc.) tours the ears, eyes, nose, and skin when the assistant principal, Mr. Wilde, accidentally shrinks the school bus and the children on board, commandeering it to deliver a message to Ms. Frizzle. The vehicle plunges into the eye of a police officer, where the students explore the pupil, the cornea, the retina, and the optic nerve leading to the brain. Then it’s on to other senses, via the ear of a small child, the nose of a dog, and the tongue of the Friz herself. Sidebars and captions add to the blizzard of information here; with a combination of plot, details, and jokes, the trip is anything but dull. The facts will certainly entice readers to learn more about the ways living creatures perceive the world. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-44697-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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